Lafayette, Sept. 11, 2001

Later that morning after classes were cancelled,
I crossed the river, beneath a perfect sky,
going home to you.

We didn’t think that Al-Qaeda would reach us
in this college town,
this pin that the angels danced on.

We listened to the radio.

We thought about stopping by your parents’. 
There your mother watched the news all day
as if it were the rain that would not fall.

Instead I watched the trucks trailing American flags
rush up and down Ferry Street,
making it a river we could not cross.

I wished it had rained that morning
while the passengers were lining up at Logan
and the workers were streaming from the subway.

Standing at the window, looking at the sky,
fierce even in Lafayette,
city of wedding-cake houses and candy stores,

I prayed for rain.

- Marianne Szlyk

Marianne Szlyk is a professor at Montgomery College and the editor of The Song Is... Her second chapbook, I Dream of Empathy, was published by Flutter Press, and her first, Listening to Electric Cambodia, Looking Up at Trees of Heaven, is available online at Kind of a Hurricane Press.   Recently she was artist in residence at The Wild Word.  Other poems have appeared at Cacti Fur, bird's thumb, of/with, The Ekphrastic Review, Solidago, Figroot Press, and other print & online venues.  She encourages you to send work to her magazine. For more information about it, see this link: